Siboney Reserve Robusto

The original Siboney was a pre-revolution Cuban cigar, named for the small  town east of Santiago de Cuba. Interestingly, Siboney is where U.S. forces landed in the first days of the Spanish-American war. Decades later it was also the site where Castro gathered with his men before their attack on the Moncada Barracks, generally considered the start of the Cuban Revolution.

The original Cuban Siboney cigar is no longer in production, but that of course bars no one from riding its illustrious coattails to marketing bliss. (Illustrious may be overstating it. So may bliss.) Famous Smoke appears to have the rights to the brand name (these people notwithstanding) and they market two different blends under the Siboney name.

The “traditional” Siboney is a Honduran bundle cigar made by Alec Bradley. The Siboney Reserve is a Nicaraguan near-puro made at Pepin Garcia’s Nicaraguan factory, My Father, in Esteli. The Reserve is packed in boxes, but it’s still designed to be an economy cigar.

The Reserve version’s best feature, in my opinion, is its wrapper — an aromatic Nicaraguan Habano Rosado leaf. The filler is Nicaraguan corojo, and it appears to have a double binder: Nicaraguan Criollo ’98 and Honduran Habano.

Only three sizes are currently in production:

  • Churchill – 7 x 50
  • Robusto – 5 x 50
  • Torpedo – 6 a/2 x 54

Construction Notes

The Siboney Reserve Robusto is a nice looking stick, but it doesn’t really compare to higher-end cigars coming out of the My Father factory. The wrapper is a slightly mottled colorado maduro that is a little less ruddy than what I would expect from the “Rosado” billing.  It’s somewhat dry and veiny, but otherwise attractive enough.

The trademark Pepin triple-cap is present, but it’s not as nicely finished as other Pepin smokes. The head is rounded with a patch on top. The draw is on the loose side, and one of these was seriously underfilled.  The burn is too quick, but it manages to keep the heat under control. The ash is crumbly, loose, and flaky.

Overall fair construction. This is a long-filler cigar, but without prior knowledge of this I’d guess it was a well-built Cuban sandwich. A little disappointing.

Tasting Notes

The Siboney Reserve Robusto is a fairly straightforward, medium-bodied, woody Nicaraguan style cigar. It opens up a little grassy with an oaky aroma and a whiff of vanilla. Some light pepper notes crop up after half an inch or so, but it is quite mild for a Pepin blend.

The middle section is woody with some light spice, but mostly it tastes of simple tobacco. The aroma is the centerpiece here, maintaining a steady flavor of wood with continuing hints of vanilla. The smoke is rough on the tongue at times.

The last third is dry and peppery, but the oaky aroma shines through. Half an inch before the band it develops a papery aftertaste and quickly turns ashy .

Conclusion

The Siboney Reserve is not a bad cigar, but it’s not a great one either, especially coming from a factory that produces some of the best cigars in Nicaragua. This one reminded me a bit of the Tatuaje Series P, the broke man’s Tatuaje. I recommend to all broke men (and women) being one myself (broke, not a woman) that smoking one or two really worthy cigars a week is far better than to smoke garbage all week long. Not that this cigar is garbage exactly, but it’s not a DPG Black either.

Boxes of the robusto are priced well at around 80 USD, which makes it a near-bargain cigar, but you can probably do much better without looking too far.

Final Score: 75

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8 thoughts on “Siboney Reserve Robusto

  1. Thanks for the review. I would never buy an exclusive like this without a positive review, and now I know better. I love the DPG Black, btw. Given that you can buy it for around $4 a stick on the internet, you can have the best of both worlds without resorting to “near value” cigars.

  2. I had one of these (a thoughtful gift) and I had pretty much the same opinions. It was okay, but I won’t buy any.

  3. Thanks for this review, especially because I sat smoking w/ a guy who smokes these regularly and was tempted to try it sometime despite previous disappointment w/ brands that Famous exclusively sells (I’ve sent bundles back for refunds). Famous is a good company as are others who also do the same thing: Too many disappointing brands that discourage any more of their….

  4. Famous is a great company, and some of their “exclusives” are excellent. The Nic 3000 is almost legendary amongst house brands. So I hope nobody takes this as a slam against Famous. The context for this review was Pepin more than Famous, and for a Pepin cigar, this one fell a little short. (And before anyone gets medieval on my ass, it’s not a slam on Pepin the Short either.)

  5. I just smoked one of these sampled to me by the Siboney Company (I sell cigars at my shoe repair shop as a side-line). This was a bundled type without the band by the way. Well, I must say that I’m guessing this cigar has improved by a small margin as I found it a nice inexpensive long-fill stick.

    The wrapper was a medium brown and was just a bit rustic. The pre-light smell was sweet primarily I’d say. The roll was solid medium density if squeezable. I tripled torched it and it lit well and immediately gave me a large volume of smoke…Much more than the H. Upmann Vintage Cameroon Belicoso I smoked earlier. After an early small correction this stick burned well.

    Early I tasted spice and the sweetness I had smelled presented itself as a slight vanilla-like taste. This cigar continued to give a large volume of smoke and burned in the medium fast range. The spice subsided, as in my experience medium bodied sticks often do, yet it remained woody with a slight sweetness. Nothing bitter here was ever noticed.

    I would say if you could get the bundle type I sampled for around $4 or less you should keep a few on hand as they were well-rounded, woody, and faintly sweet. Nothing here to really complain about when obtained at a nice price.

    • I wonder if this is the Siboney brand not marketed by Famous Cigars… as far as I know, both the original Siboney (made by Alec Bradley) and the Reserve are banded. Incidentally, it now looks like the other Siboney website (linked above) has been taken down. No surprise there… but there is still a Brazilian outfit making cigars under this name. I wonder which blend you’ve got there.

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